In 2015, it seemed that smartwatches were all the rage and would surely become the next big thing in the world of technology. 2016 however has not been kind to the smartwatch segment.
Stalwarts like Pebble have shut down and smartwatches in general are experiencing poor sales and very limited adoption rates.
However, smartwatches have become cheaper and easier to use and we do believe they will eventually catch on like wildfire. Let’s take a look at the 5 best smartwatches of 2016:
(Note: We have only included devices which are available to buy in India. Hence, newly announced smartwatches like the ZenWatch 3 and Galaxy Gear S3 are not included)
1/5 Apple Watch Series 2: Best for iPhone users
The update to the Apple Watch is available in India for Rs 34,999 and is be available in stainless steel, aluminium and a new variant, ceramic.
Water Resistant up-to 50m!
The new watch, as Apple calling it, is "swim proof," as it is water resistant to a depth of 50 meters. It comes with a new water-resistant shell, which seals the internals from water damage.
What is really interesting is how Apple has made the speaker water resistant. As the speaker cannot be sealed (it needs air to function), after a swim session, the speaker itself ejects the water that has gone inside it. Extremely innovative!
The Apple Watch: Series 2 also comes with a GPS chip built-in, allowing it to perform mapping on its own, without a cellular device.
Much brighter display
Apple Watch Series 2 features a second generation display which is capable of glowing up-to 1,000 nits, which makes it the brightest display Apple has ever shipped.
The company has also upgraded the processor in the device, which is now called the S2. The Series 2 is powered by a dual-core processor, which as per Apple is 50 percent faster than the previous one.
Apple Watch Series 2 also gets a new graphic chip, which offers doubles the graphics performance as compared to the original Apple Watch.
2/5 Moto 360 (2nd generation): Best Android Wear watch
The Moto 360 is available from a starting price of Rs 19,999 and runs Google's Android Wear. It comes with either a 1.56-inch (40 mm dial) or a 1.37-inch (35 mm dial) backlit LCD display with Gorilla Glass 3.
It is IP67 water and dust resistant, comes with Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi and has fitness features such as heart rate monitoring, calorie count, step tracking as well as coaching advice.
The wearable offers all the functionality of Android wear, such as music control, notifications on your wrist and quick reply’s through templates and voice control and has a round design, making it look more like a traditional watch.
The Moto 360 is powered by a Qualcomm 1.3 GHz Snapdragon 400 CPU paired to a 450 MHz GPU, 512 MB RAM and 4GB of internal storage. It comes with a variety of sensors including an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, gyroscope, haptic engine and an optical heart rate monitor
The smartwatch is compatible with both Android and iPhone and claims to offer up to 2 days of mixed use on a single charge with the ambient light off. This is an area where smartwatches with e ink displays such as the Pebble series or the Sony SmartBand Talk have a considerable advantage, offering much better battery life than smartwatches with traditional LCD displays.
3/5 Huawei Watch: Best premium option
The Huawei watch features a 1.4 inch HD AMOLED display with scratch resistant sapphire crystal, stainless steel casing, and comes with the option of leather and stainless steel straps.
It runs Android wear and thus offers all the functionality of Android wear, such as music control, third party application support, Google Now, notifications on your wrist and quick reply’s through templates and voice control and has a round design, making it look more like a traditional watch.
On the fitness front, it measures your heart rate, steps taken and length and quality of sleep. The device has a 300mAh battery, with a claimed battery life of 1.5 days. It also comes with fast charging, through which the battery can be charged up to 80% in just 45 minutes.
The Huawei Watch supports both Android (4.3 and above) and iOS (8.2 and above) and comes with 512MB RAM and 4GB of internal storage.
4/5 Asus ZenWatch 2: Best budget option
Asus ZenWatch 2 is available from Rs 9,900 (On Flipkart) and comes with Android Wear, IP67 water resistance and a stainless steel case.
The smartwatch offers a 1.63-inch AMOLED display, with a resolution of 320x320 pixels, amounting to a pixel density of 278 ppi. The device offers the ability to track the number of steps covered or calories burnt and view notifications right from your wrist.
It runs Android wear and thus offers all of it's functionality, such as music control, third party application support, Google Now and quick reply’s to notifications through templates and voice control.
The crown button helps navigate through the menus, circa the Apple Watch and the device also offers additional features such as remote camera, customizable watch faces, cover to mute, find my phone and a forgot phone warning.
The device is powered by a 400mAh battery which can be charged up to 50% in just 36 minutes. It is powered by a Snapdragon 400 processor with 4GB of internal storage and 512 MB of RAM. A 6 Axis Accelerometer and Gyroscope power the fitness functionality of the watch.
On the connectivity front, it supports Bluetooth 4.1 and Wi-Fi.
5/5 FitBit Blaze: Best for fitness freaks
The Fitbit Blaze is more of a fitness tracker that happens to offer certain core smartwatch functionalities. It is available for Rs 19,990 and can track steps, calories burned, quality and length of sleep, floors climbed, heart rate and workouts.
It has an inbuilt heart rate sensor and also has GPS, making it less dependent on the smartphone for tracking location and activity data.
Apart from the fitness features, the FitBit Blaze also offers call, text and calendar alerts on your wrist, the ability to control music playing on the smartphone as well as customizable watch faces. However, there is no way to reply to notifications through the watch currently and it doesn’t support notifications from applications like WhatsApp, Facebook or Hangouts.
The FitBit Blaze comes with a 1.66-inch LCD display with a resolution of 240x180 pixels. The display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. It has a 3 axis accelerometer, gyroscope, an altimeter, built in GPS and a heart rate sensor to power its activity tracking features.
The company claims the smartwatch has a 5-day battery life and can be fully charged in about 2 hours. It supports Android, iPhone as well as Windows Phone, making it one of the rare smartwatch options for Windows Phone loyalists.
The FitBit Blaze is an excellent choice for people who want a fully featured fitness tracker with some smartwatch features available as a bonus.